• By law, the seller must provide approved plans for what exists. It is important to make sure that the plans have a council stamp on, go through them on site to make sure what is approved is what is built. Often plans are provided but they are either not approved or do not represent what exists.
  • South Africa’s banks insist that any property to be sold, or in need of a bond, cannot be assisted unless the property has up to date building plans which have been approved by the local municipality.
  • You now require a SPLUMA certificate on all transfers of properties.

What is the SPLUMA Act and how does it affect you?

The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) is a national regulation gazetted in October 2015 that affects those applying for land developments or new sectional title schemes. Local authorities may implement their own SPLUMA by-laws, however, the National Deeds office now requires a SPLUMA Certificate from the local authority before property registrations of this kind can go ahead.

According to new legislation all municipalities will have to be compliant with the SPLUMA Act. All municipalities must establish a SPLUMA compliant land use scheme plan by October 2020.

To obtain a SPLUMA certificate from the local municipality, a seller should have the following in place:

  • An affidavit signed by the seller and filed at the municipality with an application wherein the owner states that the relevant plans pertaining to the property are in order, accurate and have been filed with the local municipality.
  • All rates and taxes and any other funds pertaining to the property must be paid up to date.
  • Building plans for all buildings (including the swimming pool and lapa) need to be approved and submitted. Should these plans not be compliant, the seller will need to appoint an architect to prepare the plans for lodgement with the municipality.
  • The use of the property needs to be in accordance with municipal zoning.
  • There should be no encroachments over the building lines and property boundaries”.

Apply for your SPLUMA certificate in advance of placing your property on the market as the process of acquiring this certificate can hold up the transfer process.

What does the South Africa Nation Standards (SANS 10400) say about the implications of selling a house without approved plans :

Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) No 16 of 2013, Section 53 :


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